|All species of Chlamydomonas have very similar nutritional
requirements, basically all they need is a carbon source and light. A very useful adaptation
Chlamydomonas has developed is the ability
to essentially switch from being autotrophic and become heterotrophic.
Due to the cells inability to grow effectively as a heterotoph it only
does so in the absence of a light source. Instead of using carbon
dioxide as a carbon source during photosynthesis the cells are able to
break down and use acetate as a sole source of carbon thus becoming
heterotrophic. All Chlamydomonas cells give of oxygen as a product of
photosynthesis, but recently we have discovered that in the absence of
sulfur Chlamydomonas cells are able to give of hydrogen which might make
Chamydomonas an important energy provider as well as oxygen producer.